Well, it's really really really beginning to look a lot like christmas.
But that can mean a lot of things for people. When I think of this joyous season, I think of...
- a fat man in a red suit with 8 reindeer who goes down a chimney in the middle of the night
- mall shopping
- my familys plastic christmas tree thats 8 feet tall
- All christmas movies (A christmas story, rudolph animated movies, etc.)
- christmas carols
- traveling to both ends of the country in one week
- not having school for 3 weeks
But here it's different, like everything else.
Christmas in Switzerland begins 4 sundays before christmas. This is the 1. Advent. It's a christian tradition, to light one candle every sunday before christmas, beginning 4 sundays ahead. As usual, there's a brunch with more food than Africa can eat.
Then on December 6th, it's Sammichlaustag. This is when Santa comes in. On this day, Santa rides into the forrest on his donkey with his midget helper, named schmutzli (literally translated into little dirty). The kids go into the forrest and find Santa, then they have to say a poem. Schmutzli helps Santa (Sammichlaus) decide if they're good or not. If they've been good, they receive a bag filled with peanuts, chocolates, and mandarin oranges. And depending on if your village is protestant or catholic, santa could be dressed in "normal" red, or dressed in traditional brown religious clothes.
Then come the 3 following Advent Sundays. They're the same, just with one more candle. What people do in this time is different than what we americanos do.
- They make guetzli. Basically christmas cookies, except smaller and there's a MILLION different kinds. The leftovers of these 8r70534953457 cookies will be put on a plate and eaten. Not so bad.
- They go a Weihnachtsmarkt, or christmas market. This is when the whole town has a bunch of stands/stations on the streets for a couple days or weeks, and they sell assorted goods. Some sell products, but most sell food. Sausages, Glühwein, Brötli, Chocolate, and Schnapps are typical. I've been to many of these and they're always a good time :)